Sunday, August 12, 2007

Let's Go Red Sox!

This past weekend two very good friends came to visit. Kristen and Jonathan Goldberg traveled from Minnesota for the weekend. It was so great to spend them with them and catch up. On Saturday, we went to Camden Yards to see the Baltimore Orioles take on the Boston Red Sox. During series with the Sox, Camden Yards turns in to Fenway South. It ballpark was full of Red Sox fans and truly feels like a home game for the BoSox.

Micah's dad was able to get us great seats about 20 rows up from the field behind home plate. Kristen and I couldn't leave the field with out enjoying a Esskay hot dog. They were good, but nothing really beats a Fenway Frank!!

The Sox played a great game and we almost saw Josh Beckett pitch a complete game. He got the Sox to 2-outs in the 9th when they finally took him out of the game.

After the game we headed over to Rocket to Venus, a new retro bar in Hampden. (Hampden is a blue-collar neighborhood that is really coming-of-age. Imagine the row hoses in Hairspray.) I'd heard great things about the menu, which was impressive, but the services was horrible! They were short staffed and completed messed up my entree. (However they did comp the meal.) I'd probably give it another try, but the food was that good to make up for the bad service.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer

We've been busy cleaning house this past weekend. As we prepare to put the house on the market, (yes, you read that correctly, we are looking for a bigger house) Micah and I cleaned up the basement on Saturday. With limited space in our townhouse, we had used the basement (which is finished) as a storage space. We took a lot of things to Goodwill and Micah threw out a lot of stuff that he had been saving for years. I think this is the cleanest our basement has ever been.

I'm calling the real estate agent on Monday, so I'm hoping everything is in place. Wish us luck that the house sells relatively quickly. I'd like to be out of the house and into a new one before the winter holidays.

As we move quickly in to August, Micah and I have a full month of activities. Next weekend, two of our best friends are coming in for a visit. After that I head down to Virginia to visit with Jill and Mum. On August 24-25, we head to New Jersey for a wedding and then we are off to Michigan for a week around Labor Day. Geesh, I'm tired just writing all of that.

Hope everyone is enjoying the dog days of summer.

Tomatoe recipe

Tomatoes won the "Favorite Garden Veggie" Poll and as promised, here is a recipe that uses them.

For a little background on the recipe, I love Rachael Ray and got three of her cookbooks when I got married. I'm slowly working my way through the books, trying recipes here and there. I also have a subscription to the Rachael Ray Magazine, so every month I get a magazine full of recipes that I have to try. This recipe is from her "Express Lane Meals" cookbook. I've made a couple recipes out of this book and have loved them all. One of my favorites is the Thai chicken pizza. Micah and I like the marinated chicken so much that I used it (without the pizza) over rice for dinner. Okay enough with the commentary, here is the recipe.

Pasta with Bacon, Tomatoes and Cheese
4 servings

1 lb. short-cut pasta
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
black pepper
1/2 cup white wine, a couple good glugs
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 pint grape tomatoes (I used the cherry tomatoes from my garden
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 bunch fresh chives
15 fresh basil leaves
1/2 graded Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 cups mix greens
Vinegar for the greens

Place a large pot of water with a tight-fitting lid over high heat, bring to boil. Once boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package. Remember to reserve a 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid when you drain the pasta.

While pasta is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the EVOO. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions start to brown. Add the white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and reserved pasta cooking liquid, then bring to a bubble and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the grape tomatoes and cook them for about 30 seconds or until they are just hot enough that there are about to burst. Add the cooked drained pasta , toss to coat with the sauce, and let some of the sauce soak in, about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and add the mozzarella, chives, basil and grated cheese. Use black pepper to taste. Dress the greens with oil and vinegar and serve with the pasta.

This is a great pasta dish, with a light sauce. Great for a hot summer day. Hope you enjoy!!!